Obama Dinner, ‘More of the Same!’

Sep 02, 2010 No Comments by

Mine Host: President Obama

2nd September, 2010

I am certain U.S. President Barack Obama was all charm when he hosted dinner for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the White House this week. His guest list included Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan.

I wonder what the seating arrangements were? Who sat next to the chief protagonists Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel) and Mahmoud Abbas – Abu Matzen (Palestinian Authority)?

Of course this gathering preceded the much heralded peace talks which started this week in Washington (apparently a coup of great political value to the Obama administration – the talks that is!)

An Appetizer

Middle East Peace Talks have become something of a fulltime occupation. I picked up the following information from CRS Issue Brief for US Congress. This came from 1st February, 2005.

“On September 13, 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a Declaration of Principles (DOP), providing for Palestinian empowerment and some territorial control.

“Israeli Prime Minis-ter Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan signed a Peace Treaty on October 26, 1994.

“Israel and the Palestinians signed an Interim Self- Rule in the West Bank/Oslo II accord on September 28, 1995. Israel continued implementing it despite the November 4 assassination of Prime Minister Rabin.

“Israel suspended talks with Syria after terror attacks in February/March 1996. They resumed in December 1999, but were post- poned indefinitely after January 2000. Israel withdrew from south Lebanon on May 24, 2000.

“The Palestinians and Israelis signed additional incremental accords in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

“From July 11 to 24, 2000, President Clinton held a summit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders at Camp David, but they did not succeed in producing a framework accord on final status issues. A Palestinian uprising or intifadah began in September.

“Ariel Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel on February 6, 2001. He said that the results of Camp David and afterwards were null and void.

Are you starting to see what I see? But there’s more….

“On April 30, 2003, the United States, the U.N., European Union, and Russia (the Quartet) presented a “Roadmap” to Palestinian statehood within three years. It has not been implemented.

“In December 2003, Sharon proposed to unilaterally disengage from the Palestinians in Gaza and four small settlements in the West Bank.

“Palestinian Authority (P A) Chairman/President Y asir Arafat died on November 11, 2004, and, on January 9, 2005, Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) was elected to succeed him.

The Main Course

So here we go again! The last round of direct negotiations was suspended in late 2008, as Israel entered the election campaign, which ultimately brought Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power.

Six Israelis have been ‘murdered’ by Arab assassins as a lead up to the ‘peace’ talks. Hamas claimed responsibility for the murders. Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups are expected to step up their attacks as long as the peace talks continue.

Just wait until the Israeli building freeze in Judea and Samaria ends September 26. Netanyahu will be pressured to give up any plans to resume but pressure at home will be even more threatening.

Mahmoud Abbas is in the fifth year of a four year term and many at home suggest he has no authority to represent them in any negotiations. How does an elected leader stay in office after his term ends. (Election? What election?)

Just Desserts

I wonder if Netanyahu or one of his Israeli negotiators asked for ‘more of the same’ at dinner with Obama. It’s certainly on the menu!

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledges that difficulties can be expected. “Without a doubt we will hit more obstacles. The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail these talks. But I ask the parties to persevere, to keep moving forward even through difficult times, and to continue working to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region,” she said.

Hilary just repeated the remarks made by every US Secretary of State since her husband was President Clinton but then she does not like to be reminded of those times.

World News

About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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